Pasta with Butternut Sauce, Spicy Sausage and Kale
makes about 6 cups
- 11 oz (4 links) spicy chicken Italian sausage
- 1 lb butternut squash , peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp light butter
- 10 oz penne , or pasta of your choice
- 1/2 cup leeks , minced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 cups kale or spinach , spines removed and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh shaved parmesan cheese
- 4 sage leaves , sliced thin
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender, blend until smooth.
Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving at least 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, sauté sausage over medium heat until browned, breaking up with a spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, set aside on a plate.
Reduce heat to medium-low and melt the butter, sauté the leeks and garlic until soft and golden, about 5 - 6 minutes.
Add kale and 1/4 cup of water and sautée for 5 minutes.
Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water (I used about 1 cup) to thin out the sauce to your liking. Stir in parmesan cheese and sage.
Toss in cooked pasta and sausage and mix until well coated.
Serve with additional parmesan cheese on the side if desired.
Makes about 6 cups.